This Back-to-Basics Food Plan Couldn't Be Simpler, and the Results May Be Shocking
Good for you for ending up here. You know something needs to change...you just aren't quite sure what to do. And that's where I come in to help!
We've made it too complicated.
Almost everyone used to be thin. All people were a healthy weight more or less. Or at least, way more people than are thin today.
What is the one thing that is drastically different in today than in, say, the 70s and prior?
I'd argue that it's snacking.
My no snacking plan will be a game changer if you've already tried everything else.
Decades back, people
didn't used to snack. You had breakfast. Then you had lunch. Then you
had dinner. If you missed a meal, guess what? You waited until the next
I'm convinced that the food industry has tricked us into
believing that we truly need all of these snacks. Because snacks are quite often
packaged foods, and everyone knows that packaged foods are marked up WAY
more than fresh ones. A marketer's dream!
Plus, it's easy to think that "it's just a little snack" and still have plenty of room for your next meal, which means that all of us are eating that much more food, and therefore that many more calories each day.
Many personal training clients of mine notice that they lose weight while on vacation. I'm convinced that part of this is due to the fact that they tend to just eat 2-3 meals a day and little to no snacks while away.
Personally, I stopped snacking 5 or 6 years ago. Guess what happened? I found maintaining my weight (or losing, if desired) easier than ever before. There is so much less tedious planning required when you don't snack. Also, total calories, at least for many people I know, end up being much more easily controlled. And it's total calories that really wreak the most havoc on our weight. Furthermore, you learn to deal with feelings and emotions that you used to stuff down with food in other ways. Because you are forced to.
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Life just gets simpler when you don't snack. And willpower becomes saved up for other tasks, because you don't always have to think, "should I eat, or should I not?" You know the answer without having to think about it. It also eliminates that mental battle of whether or not you'll grab some junk food at a sporting event or at the movies, or even in your car while driving around. You'll also save money :)
The average American consumes 650 calories worth of snacks EACH DAY - most of it in the form of processed foods. For some adults, that is over 1/3 of a day's total calories, and that's only if you are trying to maintain your weight, not lose! It didn't used to be this way.
It is a complete and total MYTH that metabolism is boosted by snacking. End of story. Most people I know who maintain leanness long term don't snack. The proof is in the pudding (err - forget I mentioned pudding!)
Now, I understand sometimes life gets messy. For example, if I go to a party and there are really only snack foods available and it's mealtime, I'll have some of this, and some of that, and just call it my "meal." Also, if I truly crave a "snack" food, I will have it, but as part of my meal, not at a separate time. Like having some chips on the side at lunch, but not having them in the middle of the afternoon by themselves.
For some people, only eating three meals just doesn't work due to their activity levels or their body's metabolism. That's fine! You can have 4 or even 5 meals each day, as long as they are a bit smaller and nutritionally balanced (they contain at least a protein and a fruit and/or vegetable). And if some days you are super busy and only have 2 meals, no worries. It will all even out in the end. Unsure what makes a meal nutritionally balanced? Perhaps a session with a Nutritionist may help.
Personally, my sweet spot is 4 meals per day. I usually have breakfast around 10am, which I call Meal 1 (yes, I love intermittent fasting so I don't eat right when I wake up!). Meal 2 usually happens around 2pm, Meal 3 around 5pm, and Meal 4 around 9pm.
None of my meals are huge, but they aren't tiny either. If I have a social engagement at a particular time it's easy to adjust my meals accordingly since I have the 4 each day. I can make one smaller and another bigger if I want to for social occasions - and sometimes I'll even switch to 3 meals if I want to leave room for a big dinner.
People ask, "But what do you do if you get HUNGRY?" Honestly, hunger doesn't kill you! I can get a tad bit hungry an hour or so before a meal. Remember what that used to feel like? I bet it's been awhile.
Hunger is actually a sign that your body is likely burning fat for energy. And you will figure out how to make your meals the right size so that hunger is not a huge problem for you. Also, you'd be surprised how fluids can fill in the gaps in between meals - particularly warm beverages which are very filling (make sure they are calorie free or else they count as a "snack). Yes, is important that you have balanced meals to ensure that all your nutrient needs are met without snacking. But really, shouldn't you be doing that anyway?
Do I miss snacking? Honestly, I don't. I guess I did at the beginning, but eventually I grew to love the simplicity of the plan, and also the fact that my meals could actually be large enough to feel satisfying without blowing my calorie budget. Digestively I, like most people, do so much better when we give our system a good break between eating. Also, I used to have an eating disorder, and by stopping the snacking I noticed that I obsessed and thought about food much less, which was a very good thing. The last piece that I love about not snacking is it's much easier to keep my teeth feeling clean and fresh.
My No Snacking *Challenge* to You!
I challenge you to give up snacking for one week. If you accept the challenge, comment below, and let me know how you did! I bet you'll lose weight - or at the very least you'll feel freer :) Worried you won't have the willpower? Don't! Just do it! It's only one week. You can do anything for one week!
Get more ideas about a no snacking plan and watch the pounds melt away by grabbing your copy of my new book, Change Your Weighs
You can get it sent to your kindle for less than the price of a couple of vending machine snacks :)
Check out this happy message from one of my weight loss clients!
New! We Now Offer a 6 Week Nutrition Reset Online Program.
This program exists so that you can learn to manage your food intake with ease and make it work for you in any environment, including family dining and eating out. Wouldn't it be nice to feel in control for a change?
By enrolling in this Nutrition Reset, you’ll leave fad dieters in the dust as you learn to comfortably master your food intake to the point where it's a non-issue in your life.
Exercise alone is overrated for weight loss. Do something that will actually move that needle. Start now.
Article by Gina Paulhus, Certified Nutritionist and Trainer, as well as a Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist
Learn more about booking a Nutrition Consultation. Or get a Price Quote for either in-person or video call sessions! By teaming up with an expert who is on your side and has been there, your odds of making changes with your diet so that you can get back to feeling good again go way, way up!
You can also book a Free 15 minute Discovery Call with me where we can decide together what move makes the most sense for you to take in terms of your nutrition. You have nothing to lose by booking the call. There is never any pressure, but I promise you will walk away with a renewed sense of motivation about what you can accomplish with my help.